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Author Topic: Obama Wins on Foreign Policy  (Read 3993 times)
Benny B
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« on: September 27, 2008, 06:47:46 AM »

War Stories
Obama Wins on Foreign Policy
He stood up to McCain, and he had a more realistic vision of the world.
By Fred Kaplan
Posted Saturday, Sept. 27, 2008

Sen. John McCain basically made four points in the foreign-policy sections of the first presidential debate: 1) He was for the surge (which "has succeeded") while Sen. Barack Obama opposed it; 2) he has experience, while Obama does not; 3) he wants to form a League of Democracy to impose sanctions on Iran; 4) Georgia and Ukraine should be admitted to NATO.

Obama dealt with those points—in some cases not as strongly as he might have, but probably well enough—and made several of his own: the need to improve our standing in the world, to wipe out al-Qaida in Afghanistan, to focus on creative diplomacy and not just bluster to solve problems, and to devise a sound energy policy in order, not least, to blunt Russia's resurgence.

McCain did little to rebut those propositions except to say that he knows how to do these things and that Obama's thinking is naive and dangerous.

Scored on debaters' points, the match was close. Judged on the substantive issues, especially on which candidate has the more realistic view of the world, Obama won hands down.

It was odd that McCain put so much emphasis on Iraq. Yes, he supported the surge, which has played a major—but far from the only—role in reducing the violence in Iraq. But Obama could boast that he was against going into Iraq in the first place—which speaks more to the next president's judgment about getting lassoed into future conflicts. And Obama was correct that the surge was always, even on its own terms, a means to an end—a way to reduce the violence so that the Iraqi leaders could form a unified government. It was in this sense that Obama meant that the surge was tactics while the political goal was strategy. McCain overshot when he kept saying that the surge "has succeeded," that the troops will come home with "victory"—a word that McCain's demigod, Gen. David Petraeus, has many times explicitly declined to invoke, for good reason.

Obama also did well in countering McCain's proposal for a League of Democracy—a group of democratic nations that would confront Iran when the U.N. Security Council can't because of Russia's and China's veto power. The problem with this idea, as Obama noted, is that sanctions wouldn't be very effective without the cooperation of Russia or China. The issue at stake—keeping Iran from building a nuclear bomb—has nothing to do with democracy and everything to do with common security interests. Russia can't be coddled on the matter, but cutting them off through a new Cold War is a counterproductive idea. Besides, the other democracies—mainly Germany, France, and England—don't like the idea, so it's a nonstarter. It's a fantasy on every level.

The two candidates weren't far apart on the question of letting Georgia and Ukraine into NATO, but their differences, while subtle, were telling. McCain wants to let both countries into NATO right away (which would mean war with Russia, if the treaty were taken seriously). Obama says they should be allowed to start the application process and should be admitted "if they meet requirements." The catch is that Georgia can't meet the requirements, one of which is that a member must have borders that are agreed upon. Georgia's borders have long been in dispute. This isn't just a loophole; an alliance can't agree to defend a member's borders if the borders are in contention from the outset. Again, it's a nonissue: Georgia is not going to be let into NATO under the current circumstances, no matter what McCain says.

McCain's fiercest rhetorical points were the ones that I thought Obama didn't answer firmly enough. The first was that if we were to impose a timetable for withdrawing troops from Iraq, as Sen. Obama has proposed, the war would be lost. Obama could have noted two things. First, he is not talking about a total withdrawal. Second, and more to the point, the person who is insisting on a withdrawal timetable as a condition of any U.S. troop presence beyond the end of this year isn't Obama—it's Nouri al-Maliki, the prime minister of Iraq. Even the Bush administration has conceded this point. Does McCain want to keep troops in Iraq over the objection of the Iraqi government?

McCain's second point was that he has experience. Several times (at least four), he noted that he has been "involved" in every national-security decision of the past twentysome years. He also took every opportunity to say, "I've been to Afghanistan, I know the security needs. … I know how to heal the wounds of war," etc., etc. At one point, he said, "There are some advantages in experience and judgment," then added, "I don't believe Senator Obama has that knowledge and experience."

Obama didn't answer these charges directly—but maybe he didn't have to. I have never been any good at gauging how "the American people" view these sorts of things, but was McCain protesting too much? My guess (and it's just a guess) is that by talking sensibly and coherently about issues of war and peace, arguing with McCain at his own level or higher—simply by holding his own—Obama may have effectively rebutted the charge and made McCain's condescension seem prickly. One could ask: If McCain has had all this experience, how did he get snookered on invading Iraq in the first place? If Obama's so naive (the tag that McCain threw at him several times), how did he see through it?

And does McCain really want to put such a high premium on the experience card right now? Next week, after all, Sarah Palin debates Joe Biden.
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« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2008, 06:55:02 AM »

 Grin


* Obama.jpg (97.73 KB, 350x400 - viewed 289 times.)
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« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2008, 07:14:55 AM »

War Stories
Obama Wins on Foreign Policy
He stood up to McCain, and he had a more realistic vision of the world.
By Fred Kaplan
Posted Saturday, Sept. 27, 2008

Sen. John McCain basically made four points in the foreign-policy sections of the first presidential debate: 1) He was for the surge (which "has succeeded") while Sen. Barack Obama opposed it; 2) he has experience, while Obama does not; 3) he wants to form a League of Democracy to impose sanctions on Iran; 4) Georgia and Ukraine should be admitted to NATO.

Obama dealt with those points—in some cases not as strongly as he might have, but probably well enough—and made several of his own: the need to improve our standing in the world, to wipe out al-Qaida in Afghanistan, to focus on creative diplomacy and not just bluster to solve problems, and to devise a sound energy policy in order, not least, to blunt Russia's resurgence.

McCain did little to rebut those propositions except to say that he knows how to do these things and that Obama's thinking is naive and dangerous.

Scored on debaters' points, the match was close. Judged on the substantive issues, especially on which candidate has the more realistic view of the world, Obama won hands down.

It was odd that McCain put so much emphasis on Iraq. Yes, he supported the surge, which has played a major—but far from the only—role in reducing the violence in Iraq. But Obama could boast that he was against going into Iraq in the first place—which speaks more to the next president's judgment about getting lassoed into future conflicts. And Obama was correct that the surge was always, even on its own terms, a means to an end—a way to reduce the violence so that the Iraqi leaders could form a unified government. It was in this sense that Obama meant that the surge was tactics while the political goal was strategy. McCain overshot when he kept saying that the surge "has succeeded," that the troops will come home with "victory"—a word that McCain's demigod, Gen. David Petraeus, has many times explicitly declined to invoke, for good reason.

Obama also did well in countering McCain's proposal for a League of Democracy—a group of democratic nations that would confront Iran when the U.N. Security Council can't because of Russia's and China's veto power. The problem with this idea, as Obama noted, is that sanctions wouldn't be very effective without the cooperation of Russia or China. The issue at stake—keeping Iran from building a nuclear bomb—has nothing to do with democracy and everything to do with common security interests. Russia can't be coddled on the matter, but cutting them off through a new Cold War is a counterproductive idea. Besides, the other democracies—mainly Germany, France, and England—don't like the idea, so it's a nonstarter. It's a fantasy on every level.

The two candidates weren't far apart on the question of letting Georgia and Ukraine into NATO, but their differences, while subtle, were telling. McCain wants to let both countries into NATO right away (which would mean war with Russia, if the treaty were taken seriously). Obama says they should be allowed to start the application process and should be admitted "if they meet requirements." The catch is that Georgia can't meet the requirements, one of which is that a member must have borders that are agreed upon. Georgia's borders have long been in dispute. This isn't just a loophole; an alliance can't agree to defend a member's borders if the borders are in contention from the outset. Again, it's a nonissue: Georgia is not going to be let into NATO under the current circumstances, no matter what McCain says.

McCain's fiercest rhetorical points were the ones that I thought Obama didn't answer firmly enough. The first was that if we were to impose a timetable for withdrawing troops from Iraq, as Sen. Obama has proposed, the war would be lost. Obama could have noted two things. First, he is not talking about a total withdrawal. Second, and more to the point, the person who is insisting on a withdrawal timetable as a condition of any U.S. troop presence beyond the end of this year isn't Obama—it's Nouri al-Maliki, the prime minister of Iraq. Even the Bush administration has conceded this point. Does McCain want to keep troops in Iraq over the objection of the Iraqi government?

McCain's second point was that he has experience. Several times (at least four), he noted that he has been "involved" in every national-security decision of the past twentysome years. He also took every opportunity to say, "I've been to Afghanistan, I know the security needs. … I know how to heal the wounds of war," etc., etc. At one point, he said, "There are some advantages in experience and judgment," then added, "I don't believe Senator Obama has that knowledge and experience."

Obama didn't answer these charges directly—but maybe he didn't have to. I have never been any good at gauging how "the American people" view these sorts of things, but was McCain protesting too much? My guess (and it's just a guess) is that by talking sensibly and coherently about issues of war and peace, arguing with McCain at his own level or higher—simply by holding his own—Obama may have effectively rebutted the charge and made McCain's condescension seem prickly. One could ask: If McCain has had all this experience, how did he get snookered on invading Iraq in the first place? If Obama's so naive (the tag that McCain threw at him several times), how did he see through it?

And does McCain really want to put such a high premium on the experience card right now? Next week, after all, Sarah Palin debates Joe Biden.

Gee, I wonder if Obama would dismantle our near 1000 military bases in other people's countries and our over trillion dollar budget for our overseas empire....
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« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2008, 08:41:33 AM »

Grin
Shows class and bitarsanship, as Obama has done in all his debates.
 Wink

Gee, I wonder if Obama would dismantle our near 1000 military bases in other people's countries and our over trillion dollar budget for our overseas empire....
nobody give a shit
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« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2008, 10:22:56 AM »

Gee, I wonder if Obama would dismantle our near 1000 military bases in other people's countries and our over trillion dollar budget for our overseas empire....

The best was when Obama admitted he wouldn't be able to spend billions of dollars to implement his plans because our economy is fucked, so things would have to be on hold. So basically he's saying, there would be zero progress made during my time as President.
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« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2008, 08:28:13 PM »

Gee, I wonder if Obama would dismantle our near 1000 military bases in other people's countries and our over trillion dollar budget for our overseas empire....

Of course he won't and neither will McCain.

Just think of the billions of dollars spent that could be used in the United States.

I wonder how happy Americans would be if we had foreign troops based in our country?

The Cold War is over. Time for our "allies" to pick up the slack and take care of their own damn countries.

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« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2008, 08:56:11 PM »

Gee, I wonder if Obama would dismantle our near 1000 military bases in other people's countries and our over trillion dollar budget for our overseas empire....
Roll Eyes I'm sure McCain will get right on that for ya when he wins because jacktards voted Nader with the logic that Obama wouldn't.  Infact team neocon will not only not dismantle, they're sure to use them and expand the empire!!!!!  And don't give me any of that BS they're one in the same.  For anyone who has followed this week by week day by day, that statement is sillystupid.

What do you want?  Let's play this out.

Alternate Senerio:
Obama takes on Foreign Policy more in line with a combo of Nader and Ron Paul.  The republicans successfully paint him as being the cause of Al Qaeda taking over the world, Islam becoming the dominate religion of the world even in the west and the next 9/11 happens.  Result McCain wins by 80%...  But hey, Obama kept it real Roll Eyes

You want to know who Obama is, read how he spoke his mind when the presidency wasn't on the line and opponents weren't recording his every move:

Read this!!!  Read it and tell me what kind of fucking man wrote this and then come back and tell me McCain and Obama are the same.
http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Barack_Obama's_Iraq_Speech

I'm sorry, I'm just getting sick of the bullshit from people who pay attention for a few weeks and then take months off then come in and layeth down opinion like it's The Word.
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« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2008, 09:15:08 PM »

Of course he won't and neither will McCain.

Just think of the billions of dollars spent that could be used in the United States.

I wonder how happy Americans would be if we had foreign troops based in our country?

The Cold War is over. Time for our "allies" to pick up the slack and take care of their own damn countries.



Do you really believe the purpose of US bases all over the world is for the "protection" of those countries?
Are you claiming Guantanamo Naval base is there to protect the Cubans?

Oh Puleaze!

Those bases are there to further American tactical and strategic interests, and to protect American corporate interests. With the exception of perhaps Japan, I can't think of what "protections" they provide to their host country. (numerous child rapes notwithstanding) I can see where Japan may feel the Chinese may have a few grudges they might want to settle with them, and as such may feel the need for a bit of backup, ...but I don't see where US bases in SA have made SA a safer place to be. I also don't see where US bases in Iraq have made Iraq any safer. Infact, the opposite has proven to be true, ...not only for SA and Iraq, but also the world.
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« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2008, 10:09:36 PM »

Roll Eyes I'm sure McCain will get right on that for ya when he wins because jacktards voted Nader with the logic that Obama wouldn't.  Infact team neocon will not only not dismantle, they're sure to use them and expand the empire!!!!!  And don't give me any of that BS they're one in the same.  For anyone who has followed this week by week day by day, that statement is sillystupid.

What do you want?  Let's play this out.

Alternate Senerio:
Obama takes on Foreign Policy more in line with a combo of Nader and Ron Paul.  The republicans successfully paint him as being the cause of Al Qaeda taking over the world, Islam becoming the dominate religion of the world even in the west and the next 9/11 happens.  Result McCain wins by 80%...  But hey, Obama kept it real Roll Eyes

You want to know who Obama is, read how he spoke his mind when the presidency wasn't on the line and opponents weren't recording his every move:

Read this!!!  Read it and tell me what kind of fucking man wrote this and then come back and tell me McCain and Obama are the same.
http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Barack_Obama's_Iraq_Speech


I'm sorry, I'm just getting sick of the bullshit from people who pay attention for a few weeks and then take months off then come in and layeth down opinion like it's The Word.

They are the words of a statesman... a man with the wisdom, knowledge, judgement, strength and insight to guide the United States out of the mess it is in and onto a better more prosperous and secure future.

Against Going to War with Iraq (2002)
by Barack Obama

 
Delivered on Wednesday, October 2, 2002 by Barack Obama, Illinois State Senator, at the first high-profile Chicago anti-Iraq war rally (organized by Chicagoans Against War in Iraq) at noon in Federal Plaza in Chicago, Illinois; at the same day and hour that President Bush and Congress announced their agreement on the joint resolution authorizing the Iraq War, but over a week before it was passed by either body of Congress.

Good afternoon. Let me begin by saying that although this has been billed as an anti-war rally, I stand before you as someone who is not opposed to war in all circumstances.

The Civil War was one of the bloodiest in history, and yet it was only through the crucible of the sword, the sacrifice of multitudes, that we could begin to perfect this union, and drive the scourge of slavery from our soil. I don’t oppose all wars.

My grandfather signed up for a war the day after Pearl Harbor was bombed, fought in Patton’s army. He saw the dead and dying across the fields of Europe; he heard the stories of fellow troops who first entered Auschwitz and Treblinka. He fought in the name of a larger freedom, part of that arsenal of democracy that triumphed over evil, and he did not fight in vain.

I don’t oppose all wars.

After September 11th, after witnessing the carnage and destruction, the dust and the tears, I supported this Administration’s pledge to hunt down and root out those who would slaughter innocents in the name of intolerance, and I would willingly take up arms myself to prevent such a tragedy from happening again.

I don’t oppose all wars. And I know that in this crowd today, there is no shortage of patriots, or of patriotism. What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war. What I am opposed to is the cynical attempt by Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz and other arm-chair, weekend warriors in this Administration to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the costs in lives lost and in hardships borne.

What I am opposed to is the attempt by political hacks like Karl Rove to distract us from a rise in the uninsured, a rise in the poverty rate, a drop in the median income — to distract us from corporate scandals and a stock market that has just gone through the worst month since the Great Depression.

That’s what I’m opposed to. A dumb war. A rash war. A war based not on reason but on passion, not on principle but on politics.

Now let me be clear — I suffer no illusions about Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal man. A ruthless man. A man who butchers his own people to secure his own power. He has repeatedly defied UN resolutions, thwarted UN inspection teams, developed chemical and biological weapons, and coveted nuclear capacity.

He’s a bad guy. The world, and the Iraqi people, would be better off without him.

But I also know that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors, that the Iraqi economy is in shambles, that the Iraqi military a fraction of its former strength, and that in concert with the international community he can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history.

I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a US occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences. I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of al-Qaeda.

I am not opposed to all wars. I’m opposed to dumb wars.

So for those of us who seek a more just and secure world for our children, let us send a clear message to the president today. You want a fight, President Bush? Let’s finish the fight with Bin Laden and al-Qaeda, through effective, coordinated intelligence, and a shutting down of the financial networks that support terrorism, and a homeland security program that involves more than color-coded warnings.

You want a fight, President Bush? Let’s fight to make sure that the UN inspectors can do their work, and that we vigorously enforce a non-proliferation treaty, and that former enemies and current allies like Russia safeguard and ultimately eliminate their stores of nuclear material, and that nations like Pakistan and India never use the terrible weapons already in their possession, and that the arms merchants in our own country stop feeding the countless wars that rage across the globe.

You want a fight, President Bush? Let’s fight to make sure our so-called allies in the Middle East, the Saudis and the Egyptians, stop oppressing their own people, and suppressing dissent, and tolerating corruption and inequality, and mismanaging their economies so that their youth grow up without education, without prospects, without hope, the ready recruits of terrorist cells.

You want a fight, President Bush? Let’s fight to wean ourselves off Middle East oil, through an energy policy that doesn’t simply serve the interests of Exxon and Mobil.

Those are the battles that we need to fight. Those are the battles that we willingly join. The battles against ignorance and intolerance, corruption and greed, poverty and despair.

The consequences of war are dire, the sacrifices immeasurable. We may have occasion in our lifetime to once again rise up in defense of our freedom, and pay the wages of war. But we ought not — we will not — travel down that hellish path blindly. Nor should we allow those who would march off and pay the ultimate sacrifice, who would prove the full measure of devotion with their blood, to make such an awful sacrifice in vain.



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« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2008, 05:59:18 AM »

Do you really believe the purpose of US bases all over the world is for the "protection" of those countries?
Are you claiming Guantanamo Naval base is there to protect the Cubans?

Oh Puleaze!

Those bases are there to further American tactical and strategic interests, and to protect American corporate interests. With the exception of perhaps Japan, I can't think of what "protections" they provide to their host country. (numerous child rapes notwithstanding) I can see where Japan may feel the Chinese may have a few grudges they might want to settle with them, and as such may feel the need for a bit of backup, ...but I don't see where US bases in SA have made SA a safer place to be. I also don't see where US bases in Iraq have made Iraq any safer. Infact, the opposite has proven to be true, ...not only for SA and Iraq, but also the world.

I know this, Judi. We have forward deployed bases to further American national security interests but they're also there to protect the national interests of our allies. I was in the military and did serve overseas. I get all of this.

Now tell me, what do you think Obama will do about America's strong military presence overseas? Is he going to start shutting those bases down or bring deployed naval battle groups home or is he still going to spend billions each year to maintain our flawed foreign policy of intervention?

He's the America first candidate, right?

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« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2008, 06:17:29 AM »

Roll Eyes I'm sure McCain will get right on that for ya when he wins because jacktards voted Nader with the logic that Obama wouldn't.  Infact team neocon will not only not dismantle, they're sure to use them and expand the empire!!!!!  And don't give me any of that BS they're one in the same.  For anyone who has followed this week by week day by day, that statement is sillystupid.

What do you want?  Let's play this out.

Alternate Senerio:
Obama takes on Foreign Policy more in line with a combo of Nader and Ron Paul.  The republicans successfully paint him as being the cause of Al Qaeda taking over the world, Islam becoming the dominate religion of the world even in the west and the next 9/11 happens.  Result McCain wins by 80%...  But hey, Obama kept it real Roll Eyes

You want to know who Obama is, read how he spoke his mind when the presidency wasn't on the line and opponents weren't recording his every move:

Read this!!!  Read it and tell me what kind of fucking man wrote this and then come back and tell me McCain and Obama are the same.
http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Barack_Obama's_Iraq_Speech

I'm sorry, I'm just getting sick of the bullshit from people who pay attention for a few weeks and then take months off then come in and layeth down opinion like it's The Word.

Hugo, it's clear that McCain will do none of that; it's so clear, it's not even worth mentioning. The question is whether Obama will do that? Hmm....
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« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2008, 07:18:37 AM »

Hugo, it's clear that McCain will do none of that; it's so clear, it's not even worth mentioning. The question is whether Obama will do that? Hmm....
are you for real?  After everything McCain has said, you're worried about Obama being the bigger aggressor?  Do you understand politics at all?  Do you know what the dems have running against them by default in the area of defence?  Do you understand election logic at all? He would have no chance if he didn't say this shit. If you look at things each have said pre-election, McCain is the warmonger.  How the hell can you honestly say it's not clear if McCain will and put the onus on Obama?  especially when the logic behind why tough talk from Obama is clear as crystallized pig shit.  Let's just take Iran for example, you really think the greater question is if Obama will attack Iran while McCain sings songs and has backed the attack for a long time.  He's outright over and over and over addressed Iran with, "he will" while Obama gets shit for wanting to talk with Iran and actually use war as a last option.  This is so laughable I can't even believe it.  It can only come about via one who hasn't paid attention.  You not only didn't pay attention but for a while you popped in mocking the point of people posting here and announced you were done with it all.
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« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2008, 07:26:38 AM »

are you for real?  After everything McCain has said, you're worried about Obama being the bigger aggressor?  Do you understand politics at all?  Do you know what the dems have running against them by default in the area of defence?  Do you understand election logic at all? He would have no chance if he didn't say this shit. If you look at things each have said pre-election, McCain is the warmonger.  How the hell can you honestly say it's not clear if McCain will and put the onus on Obama?  especially when the logic behind why tough talk from Obama is clear as crystallized pig shit.  Let's just take Iran for example, you really think the greater question is if Obama will attack Iran while McCain sings songs and has backed the attack for a long time.  He's outright over and over and over addressed Iran with, "he will" while Obama gets shit for wanting to talk with Iran and actually use war as a last option.  This is so laughable I can't even believe it.  It can only come about via one who hasn't paid attention.  You not only didn't pay attention but for a while you popped in mocking the point of people posting here and announced you were done with it all.

Slow down there cowboy, I am not Mr. Oil Pipeline here. I agree with you for the most part; are you implying that once Obama gets into office he is going to apply a non-interventionist foreign policy?
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« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2008, 08:18:42 AM »

Slow down there cowboy, I am not Mr. Oil Pipeline here. I agree with you for the most part; are you implying that once Obama gets into office he is going to apply a non-interventionist foreign policy?
Is he going to be a Ron Paul, no...  I think that's clear.  Is he going to be the kind of president who plans a war then rigs the evidence to fit a case for it.  There is no way in hell Obama is going to do that.  He's a huge step back toward sanity in this area.  McCain is dead set on continuing down the neocon path of world domination and policing by force.  At this point, I'm happy as hell to have the next stage of our country go opposite of where the neocons have taken us in the world.  I think it's very clear Obama is not a step down the neocon path.
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« Reply #14 on: October 28, 2010, 01:44:12 PM »

Benny = sucker. 
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« Reply #15 on: November 12, 2010, 09:40:50 AM »

Hey Benny:  NYT is running with a story that the World as a whole is rejecting Obamanomics. 

What say you now? 
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« Reply #16 on: November 12, 2010, 01:59:11 PM »

FFFFFFFFFFFFFFAAAAAAAAAA AAIIIIIIIIIILLLLLLLLLLLL LLLLLLL


________________________ ________________________ ______

‘President Obama, I’m actually Chinese.’
National Review Online ^ | 11-12-10 | Robert Costa




The closing exchange at President Obama’s press conference today in Seoul:

THE PRESIDENT: I feel obliged to take maybe one question from the Korean press — since you guys have been such excellent hosts. Anybody? This gentleman right here — he’s got his hand up. He’s the only one who took me up on it. Go ahead. And I’ll probably need a translation, though, if you’re asking the question in Korean. In fact, I definitely will need a translation. (Laughter.)

REPORTER: Unfortunately, I hate to disappoint you, President Obama, I’m actually Chinese. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: Well, it’s wonderful to see you.

REPORTER: But I think I get to represent the entire Asia.

THE PRESIDENT: Absolutely.

REPORTER: We’re one family here in this part of the world.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, your English is better than my Mandarin also. (Laughter.) But — now, in fairness, though, I did say that I was going to let the Korean press ask a question. So I think that you held up your hand anyway.

REPORTER: How about will my Korean friends allow me to ask a question on your behalf? Yes or no?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, it depends on whether there’s a Korean reporter who would rather have the question. No, no takers?

(Inaudible.)

THE PRESIDENT: This is getting more complicated than I expected. (Laughter.)

REPORTER: Take quick, one question from an Asian, President Obama.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, the — as I said, I was going to — go ahead and ask your question, but I want to make sure that the Korean press gets a question as well.

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« Reply #17 on: November 12, 2010, 02:10:15 PM »

33.....that is pretty funny from "Mr. Cool" being revealed to not quite be what so many thought.......Bush would have just said "You all look alike to me anyway" and snickered.... Grin
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« Reply #18 on: November 12, 2010, 02:11:46 PM »

Yeah - if Palin did this, 240, Benny, blacken, and the rest of TEAM KNEEPAD would be freaking out. 
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« Reply #19 on: November 12, 2010, 02:21:04 PM »

Yeah - if Palin did this, 240, Benny, blacken, and the rest of TEAM KNEEPAD would be freaking out. 

3 page rant on how dumb it makes America look.......
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« Reply #20 on: November 12, 2010, 05:54:19 PM »

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Embarrassment in Seoul
Wall Street Journal Opinion ^ | November 13,2010



Has there ever been a major economic summit where a U.S. President and his Treasury Secretary were as thoroughly rebuffed as they were at this week's G-20 meeting in Seoul? We can't think of one. President Obama failed to achieve any of his main goals while getting pounded by other world leaders for failing U.S. policies and lagging growth.

The root of this embarrassment is political and intellectual: Rather than leading the world from a position of strength, Mr. Obama and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner came to Seoul blaming the rest of the world for U.S. economic weakness. America's problem, in their view, is the export and exchange rate policies of the Germans, Chinese or Brazilians. And the U.S. solution is to have the Fed print enough money to devalue the dollar so America can grow by stealing demand from the rest of the world.

President Barack Obama walks off the stage with Secretary of Treasury Timonthy Geithner But why should anyone heed this U.S. refrain? The Germans are growing rapidly after having rejected Mr. Geithner's advice in 2009 to join the U.S. stimulus spending blowout. China is also growing smartly having rejected counsel from three U.S. Administrations to abandon its currency discipline. The U.K. and even France are pursuing more fiscal restraint. Only the Obama Administration is determined to keep both the fiscal and monetary spigots wide open, while blaming everyone else for the poor domestic results.


(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...


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« Reply #21 on: November 13, 2010, 04:29:28 PM »


Expert: past 10 days have been worst of President Obama's 'political life'
By Kenneth R. Bazinet
DAILY NEWS WASHINGTON BUREAU

Originally Published:Friday, November 12th 2010, 6:08 PM
Updated: Friday, November 12th 2010, 6:08 PM


________________________ ________________________ ____________-


WASHINGTON - President Obama is coming home from his overseas trip pretty much empty-handed.

After watching his party take a beating in the midterm elections, Obama wasn't able to secure even a symbolic victory on a trip that was expected to give him plenty of opportunities to claim a win.

"This certainly was the worst 10 days of his political life," said Baruch College political scientist Doug Muzzio. "Given that he's not going to be able to get any domestic achievements with the Republicans in control of the House ... if he doesn't do it in foreign policy that's a big problem for him.

"He came back with bupkis [Yiddish for 'nothing']."

Obama's inauspicious 10-day, four-nation trip included a failure to land an anticipated slam dunk free trade agreement with South Korea.

It also included a botched effort to rally Western allies to press China to budge on a monetary policy that threatens to keep the U.S. economy in the tank.

Yet Obama appeared to shrug off the lack of results during summit meetings with the world's most powerful leaders.

"Naturally, there's an instinct to focus on the disagreements, because otherwise, these summits might not be very exciting; it's just a bunch of world leaders sitting around intervening," Obama told reporters in South Korea.

"What's remarkable is that in each of these successive summits we've actually made real progress," he added, without anything of substance to point to.

Compounding his problems, Obama had to dial back on comments made back home by top adviser David Axelrod, who suggested Obama will cave on ending tax cuts for the rich.

Even when he had a chance to back embattled outgoing Speaker Nancy Pelosi, his biggest political ally who wants to remain leader of the House Democrats, he hedged.

"I think Speaker Pelosi has been an outstanding partner for me," Obama said. "I think Harry Reid has been a terrific partner in moving some very difficult legislation forward."

Experts scoffed.

"If President [George W.] Bush was the great decider, then President Obama is the great considerer," Muzzio said.

kbazinet@nydailynews.com



Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/2010/11/12/2010-11-12_president_obama_returns_from_asia_trip_with_disappointing_results_amid_midterm_l.html#ixzz15CwcrTNp


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* tampa-bow-obama.jpg (49.3 KB, 610x406 - viewed 195 times.)
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« Reply #22 on: November 13, 2010, 04:55:52 PM »

Start calling this douche, Obowma.....
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« Reply #23 on: November 14, 2010, 04:43:36 PM »

Ha ha ha -

Benny = owned

________________________ ________

Left, Right agree: Obama’s G-20 performance worst ever
Hot Air ^



The Wall Street Journal looks at Barack Obama’s performance at the G-20 summit as well as his trip to Seoul and pronounces it the worst ever for an American President. The editors are disgusted by the performance, but in the end say failure was the right outcome:

Has there ever been a major economic summit where a U.S. President and his Treasury Secretary were as thoroughly rebuffed as they were at this week’s G-20 meeting in Seoul? We can’t think of one. President Obama failed to achieve any of his main goals while getting pounded by other world leaders for failing U.S. policies and lagging growth.

The root of this embarrassment is political and intellectual: Rather than leading the world from a position of strength, Mr. Obama and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner came to Seoul blaming the rest of the world for U.S. economic weakness. America’s problem, in their view, is the export and exchange rate policies of the Germans, Chinese or Brazilians. And the U.S. solution is to have the Fed print enough money to devalue the dollar so America can grow by stealing demand from the rest of the world. …

The world also rejected Mr. Geithner’s high-profile call for a 4% limit on a nation’s trade surplus or deficit, which would amount to new political controls on trade and capital flows. This contradicts at least three decades of U.S. policy advice against national barriers to the flow of money and goods. We don’t like to see U.S. Treasury Secretaries so completely shot down by the rest of the world, except when they are so clearly misguided.

Interestingly, it looks as though Obama has truly delivered consensus when one reads the San Francisco Chronicle editorial from yesterday’s edition:

Shellacked at home, shellacked abroad. President Obama’s Asia trip is extending a losing streak with the latest setback – a refusal by other major financial powers to follow his lead to revive the global economy.

The president’s nostrums, which began with a call for stimulus-style pump priming by other nations, had evolved into a plan to ease wild swings in currency values and overboard trade imbalances. But he got next to nothing in showdown meetings with other leaders of the G-20 nations, or major economic powers. U.S. leadership, once taken for granted, has all but vanished, and no one’s in charge.



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« Reply #24 on: November 15, 2010, 06:26:18 AM »

Looks like a failure

________________________ ________

The KORUS catastrophe
Posted By Phil Levy  Friday, November 12, 2010 - 7:04 AM   Share


President Obama’s failure to conclude the Korea-United States Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) is a disaster. It reveals a stunning level of ineptitude and seriously undermines America’s leadership in the global economy. The implications extend far beyond selling Buicks in Busan.

Unlike some of the trade agreements the United States has pursued in the last decade, this one is with an economically significant partner. KORUS could bring billions of dollars of new trade opportunities and the Obama administration had cited it as one part of its National Export Initiative, a plan to double U.S. exports in five years.

But there are really two distinct issues in contemplating the significance of the failed talks: the economic merits and questions of diplomatic competence. The latter is really the story of the day.

The economic merits and demerits have been in full public view since the agreement was originally concluded in the spring of 2007. The agreement offered substantial market opening, but left some questions regarding access to the South Korean market, especially for U.S. autos and beef. Those products face barriers other than simple border tariffs. Such non-tariff barriers are harder to negotiate away, though the KORUS agreement certainly tried. There was substantial political opposition to the agreement within both countries, though the Koreans managed to overcome theirs. Influential voices such as Ford Motor Co. and organized labor in the United States criticized the agreement as inadequate.

The well-established opposition just brings us to the stunning, perhaps unprecedented diplomatic incompetence just displayed by the White House. The concerns and obstacles that impede a new KORUS agreement were fully apparent in June when Obama announced he would have an agreement in time for the Seoul G-20 meetings (now underway). The announcement was remarkable at the time because so much of the U.S. president’s statements on trade have been vague, aspirational, and timeless. This was a promise to have a specific agreement concluded by a specific date.

Reflecting on the health care battle, Obama recently told 60 Minutes, "When you're campaigning, I think you're liberated to say things without thinking about, ‘OK, how am I going to actually practically implement this.'" That may be true, but the rules change once a president takes office. Most White Houses are exceedingly careful about making such public commitments. If the president’s credibility is to be put on the line, there is an absolute imperative to deliver. This is at least as true in international diplomacy as in domestic affairs. The debacle in Seoul is a slap in the face of a critical U.S. ally in a critical region, and it will cast doubt on U.S. trade promises in other negotiations elsewhere. But if an American president loses his credibility, the damage spreads beyond the narrow confines of economic deals and Northeast Asia.

Of course, Obama did not admit defeat. He spoke of the setback as a mere postponement. "We don’t want months to pass before we get this done. We want this to be done in a matter of weeks." If the agreement really is just a few weeks' work away, the administration ought to be deeply embarrassed. After the president made his June commitment, no formal talks were held with the Koreans until the end of September. Even then, the Koreans complained that the U.S. negotiators were not being sufficiently specific in their proposals. If the problems really are just technical ones, the Obama team has played the role of the student who procrastinates on a term paper, counting on the ability to have a really productive all-nighter. Such a work program evokes little sympathy when it doesn’t succeed.

More likely, though, the obstacles are not technical but political. The lineup of advocates and opponents for KORUS poses difficult choices for the White House. Traditionally, governments around the world make such tough trade choices when they are right up against a deadline. But if the deal could not be concluded under the pressure of a high-profile bilateral meeting between presidents in Seoul, is it really plausible that it will be wrapped up because negotiators want to be home for Thanksgiving?

The breakdown could not have come at a worse time. The United States has been working to assert its relevance in Asia. Concerns about protectionist pressures amidst economic troubles raise the stakes in bolstering the global trading system. Beyond economic questions, countries around the world are wondering about the strength of a president who just suffered a major political setback.

Though he may not have foreseen all of the difficulties he would be facing at this juncture, last summer Obama named the time and place of his global credibility test. And he just failed it.


http://shadow.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/11/12/the_korus_catastrophe
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